Prestonfield’s Princess Elizabeth Nursery celebrated its 80th Birthday last week. Its unwelcome birthday present is to be targeted for closure by the City Council.
As Green Councillor for the area I don’t think that is right. Greens tried to block the closure when it came to a Council Committee in October but Liberal Democrat led Administration and Conservative councillors voted the plans through.
Like all councillors I’m being told on the need to cut budgets. But this is not the right target. It is a nursery that has received “excellent” ratings from the Care Commission. Parents are concerned about the pressure that closure will place on other local nurseries – Prestonfield and Cameron House – and the difficulty of maintaining standards with such pressure. The nursery roll across the city is rising; closing nurseries now is something that could cost the city dear in the long term.
There’s a drip, drip effect too. Princess Elizabeth was targeted for closure back in 2007 as well and then spared. Each time the axe hangs over a service the more demoralising it is for staff and people who use and value that service. The danger is that you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s not right either.
If you share my concerns you have until 7 December to make your view known. You can email EarlyYears@edinburgh.gov.uk. You can also sign the parents’ petition outside Princess Elizabeth Nursery on Clearburn Crescent every weekday morning at 9am.